Time to address the double inequality of differences in dietary intake between Scotland and England

Barton, K. L., Chambers, S. , Anderson, A. S. and Wrieden, W. L. (2018) Time to address the double inequality of differences in dietary intake between Scotland and England. British Journal of Nutrition, 120(2), pp. 220-226. (doi: 10.1017/S0007114518001435) (PMID:29947325) (PMCID:PMC6088540)

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Geographical disparities in health outcomes have been evident across the UK for decades. There is limited recent analysis on the dietary differences between Scotland and England that might go some way to explain these health differences. This study aimed to assess whether, and to what degree, aspects of diet and nutrition differ between Scottish and English populations, specifically between those with similar household incomes. Twelve years of UK food purchase data (2001-2012) were pooled and used to estimate household level consumption data for Scotland and England. Population mean food consumption and nutrient intakes were estimated, adjusting for known confounders (year, age of household reference person, age they left full-time education and income). Comparison was also made within equivalised income quintiles. Analysis showed that the foods and nutrients that should be increased in the diet (highlighted in the Scottish Dietary Goals) were lower in Scotland than England (e.g. fruit and vegetables 267g/day (99%CI 259-274g/day) vs. 298g/day (99%CI 296-301g/day), P<0.001). Likewise, foods and drinks linked with poor health outcomes were higher in Scotland. These regional inequalities in diet were even more pronounced in the lower income groups (e.g. red and processed meat consumption in the lowest income quintile was 65g/day (99% CI 61-69g/day) in Scotland vs. 58g/day (99% CI 57-60g/day) in England, P<0.001, but similar in the highest income quintile (58g/day (99%CI 54-61 g/day) vs. 59g/day (99% CI 58-60 g/day) respectively). A poorer diet in Scotland compared to England, particularly among disadvantaged groups, may contribute to differences in excess mortality between countries.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by NHS Health Scotland (grant number 2014/15 RE007). NHS Health Scotland had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article. SC was also supported by a Medical Research Council Strategic Award MC_PC_13027, and MRC Grants MC_UU_12017/12 and MC_UU_12017/14, and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates Grants SPHSU12 and SPHSU14.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chambers, Dr Stephanie
Authors: Barton, K. L., Chambers, S., Anderson, A. S., and Wrieden, W. L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:British Journal of Nutrition
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1475-2662
Published Online:27 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Journal of Nutrition 120(2): 220-226
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
620221MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727661SPHSU Core Renewal: Complexity in Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU